The police in Uttar Pradesh on Thursday said that state Congress leader Alok Prasad was sent to judicial custody for allegedly plotting a criminal conspiracy and instigating a 35-year-old woman to set herself on fire, the Hindustan Times reported. Prasad is the chairperson of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe cell of the Uttar Pradesh Congress unit, and the son of former Rajasthan Governor Sukhdev Prasad.
The woman identified as Anjali Tiwari, from Maharajganj district, was admitted to the hospital on Tuesday with severe burn injuries and died on Wednesday night, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central) Somen Barma told PTI. Prasad was arrested on the same night from his residence and sent to judicial custody after being produced before a court on Thursday afternoon.
Barma said the initial first information report against the Congress leader was filed under Indian Penal Code Sections 306/511 for provoking the woman, who was trying to self-immolate. However, this was later altered to Section 306 for abetment to suicide and Section 120-B for criminal conspiracy.
An unidentified official told the Hindustan Times that Prasad was in touch with the woman for the last few days, and cited call records. He added that the woman was protesting against a man named Asif Raza, claiming he had abandoned her after marriage and went to Dubai. But the police are yet to verify whether they were married or just in a relationship.
Tiwari began a relationship with Raza after separating from her husband Akhilesh Kumar a few years ago. Raza’s family reportedly did not approve of their relationship.
The official claimed Prasad provoked the woman to set herself on fire to draw the state government’s attention to her case.
Maharajganj Superintendent of Police Pradeep Gupta said the woman had protested outside the residence of Raja’s parents on October 4, but did not register any complaint when asked about it.